The Highland Center © 2015
The Highland Inn
"Pride of the Mountains" since 1904
68 West Main Street
Post Office Box 40
Monterey, Virginia 24465
For Room Reservations please call us direct at
Find out more on our rooms and reservations pages.
Cultural & Historical Activities
In Highland County our museum opened in McDowell in 2005 under the auspices of the Highland Historical Society providing a new point of interest for visitors and natives alike. The Mansion House has a long history which includes the influential Hull family and also served as McDowell's hostelry in the first half of the 20th century. More information and the society's plans can be seen on their website. The Historical Society is also one of the sponsors of McDowell Heritage Days that has a Civil War re-enactment and encampment as it's centerpiece. Heritages days will return in 2012 for the 150th anniversary of the battle.
The Maple Museum at Monterey is an outdoor Museum open during daylight hours that shows old time methods of making maple products. The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is working on updating information on their museum.
The Highland Center serves Highland County as a location for cultural activities and also as a business incubator for small business development. The Highland County Arts Council utilizes the Center for plays and productions through-out the year. It is located in the 1922 Monterey High School (National Register) which is worth a walk to the edge of Monterey to see.
The Civil War was a defining moment in Highland County's history. It would have taken only a few different circumstances for Highland to have ended up a county of West Virginia. Although most Highlanders served Virginia, a sizable number served with Union forces. Confederate Troops spent a good part of the war protecting the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike and this probably helped keep Highland part of Virginia.
Monterey played a forward position for supplies coming from Staunton depots and was often the field command post for forces in Western Virginia. It was in Monterey that General Lee took overall command of Confederate Forces in his ineffective mountain campaign. Monterey also seemed to be the magnet for retreating Confederate troops in the first two years of the War. Monterey was Union General Milroy's base while facing General "Alleghany" Johnson who was based at Shenandoah Mountain, leading up to the Battle of McDowell. The McDowell Battlefield area is considered to be one of the most pristine Civil War battlefields that survive.
The Highland County Genealogy Page on the USGenWeb Project has several helpful links and information for researchers. The Highland County Library is an excellent county research source and includes historical microfiche copies of our local newspaper, The Recorder. The library also maintains a list of local email addresses for individuals and businesses on their website. Our County Clerk's Office has records dating back to the county's founding in 1847, surviving not only the Civil War, but also the 1947 fire that destroyed the Courthouse. Highland County was formed from Bath and Pendleton Counties. For information on our area before Highland was formed the Bath County Historical Society might be useful.
In Nearby Bath County, the highly regarded Garth Newel Music Center hosts regularly scheduled musical events. During many Highland County events and the County Fair, Blue Grass and Country Music are performed.
The Virginia Civil War Trails - US 250 Corridor is a good link to learn about the Battle of McDowell and the defense of the Turnpike. There is a walking tour of the battlefield available on the land maintained by the Civil War Preservation Trust. Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District has a website that covers The Valley campaigns. Click on the map for a brief summary of the battle.